Trooper in fatal accident leaves job

An internal investigation by state police into Trooper Brian Beardsley’s involvement in the May 22 d
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An internal investigation by state police into Trooper Brian Beardsley’s involvement in the May 22 death of a Northville man resulted in Beardsley leaving the force last week.

Police would not say whether Beardsley was fired or if he resigned, because of civil service laws that prevent disclosing the results of an internal personnel investigation.

But the findings from the investigation, which police officially have ended, played a direct role in his leaving, state police Sgt. Kern Swoboda confirmed.

“Once Mr. Beardsley was no longer employed by our agency we didn’t have any reasons to go forward with any kind of investigation,” he said Wednesday.

Police charged Beardsley, 32, of Amsterdam, with leaving the scene of a fatal accident without reporting, a felony.

The Sheriff’s Department said in a release that Beardsley’s girlfriend called 911 at 2:41 a.m. May 22 to report that she and Beardsley found “a body on the side of the roadway” as they were driving on County Route 110 in Broadalbin. When police arrived no one was on the scene.

The body was that of Chad Finch, whom coroners determined died of injuries suffered when a truck hit him. He apparently had been lying in the road when struck.

Beardsley was off duty on the morning of May 22 and driving a black 2008 Nissan pickup truck, which police determined had struck Finch.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, which is handling the criminal investigation into Beardsley, has worked with state police throughout their separate investigations, said Sheriff Thomas Lorey.

Any additional charges in the case would come when a grand jury convenes next month. Lorey said the Sheriff’s Department is waiting on the grand jury to see what they decide from the physical evidence collected on scene.

Hamilton County District Attorney James Curry, the specially appointed prosecutor in the case, did not return repeated calls Wednesday for comment.

Beardsley’s attorney, Ron Schur, was out of office Wednesday. His secretary said his office has no comment.

Beardsley, an 8-year state police veteran assigned to the Mayfield barracks, was suspended without pay for 30 days May 24.

Officials at the Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents Beardsley, said they could not comment on Beardsley’s departure from the police force until their legislative director returned to the office today.

Chad Finch’s brother, Vincent, was not home Wednesday, but his fiancee Kim White said the family is relieved to hear Beardsley is no longer on the police force.

“I don’t think it’s right that a state trooper can hit and run over somebody and get away with it,” White said. “An average person like me would be sitting behind bars waiting for a trial, and he’s been free and clear.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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